Introduction to the New Testament #9

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This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Introduction to the New Testament

Among the earliest Christians, Mark did not command the attention of the Fathers. According to Everett Harrison, they placed Matthew and Luke in the most prominent positions. But Harrison also notes that in modern times Mark has surged to the fore, the place of chief consideration, among the first three Gospels.

I think there are two factors at work here. For one, the early Fathers found a lot more meat in Luke and Matthew than they found in Mark. And after all, Matthew was an apostle and Mark was not. But there is another reason. A rule of scholarship is publish or perish, and in this quest scholars sometimes find things that were never really lost.

The earliest historical recognition of Mark comes from one Papias, who was Bishop of Hierapolis and wrote right after the turn of the first century. Let’s begin by reading what he quotes the enigmatic John the Presbyter as saying about the origins of the Gospel of Mark.

Series Navigation<< Introduction to the New Testament #8Introduction to the New Testament #10 >>


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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